How Much Alcohol is in Kombucha?

How Much Alcohol is in Kombucha? Kombucha is increasingly popular for its reported health benefits and probiotic content. However, not many people know about the potential alcohol content in kombucha – some types of kombucha can even contain up to 3.5% alcohol by volume (ABV). In this blog post, we will discuss the range of alcoholic levels in kombucha, how it’s produced, and thoughts on drinking responsibly. So if you’re curious about whether or not your favorite fermented beverage contains any alcohol at all — read on!


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Kombucha, a fermented beverage thought to have begun in China and composed of black or green tea combined with bacteria, yeast and sugar, must undergo fermentation at room temperature for several weeks. During the process a mushroom-like film known as SCOBY – Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria & Yeast – is formed on the surface of the mixture. This remarkable living organism is responsible for transforming this combination into an incredibly nutritious probiotic drink filled with vitamins minerals enzymes and acids that can improve digestive health along with numerous additional benefits!

Due to the fermentation process, kombucha has many distinctive flavors and properties. It is made of carbon dioxide, alcohol, acetic acid, probiotic bacteria and other acidic compounds. As for this popular drink, one query that comes up often is: does it contain any alcohol? The straightforward response is yes – there are traces of alcohol in kombucha; however, it isn’t regarded as an alcoholic beverage per se.

If you’re feeling a bit bamboozled, let’s go over the answer step-by-step so that you can make an educated decision about if kombucha is right for your lifestyle.

Could Downing an Overabundance of Kombucha Leave You Tipsy?

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Could Downing an Overabundance of Kombucha Leave You Tipsy?

In short, the answer is no. It’s unlikely that drinking lots of kombucha will make you drunk, even with its legal maximum alcohol-by-volume at 0.5%. Therefore, people are increasingly ditching beer and cocktails for this tasty beverage without any booze buzz! Give it a shot to find out how it feels!

For those of you particularly sensitive to alcohol or have religious or health restrictions regarding the consumption of it, please keep in mind that there are small amounts present in kombucha. With this knowledge at hand, we hope you can make an educated decision about whether kombucha is suitable for your lifestyle.

What technologies does Brew Dr. use to reduce the alcohol content in its kombucha?

To be legally considered a non-alcoholic beverage, commercially sold kombucha must contain less than 0.5% of alcohol, making it extremely difficult to experience any effects from drinking multiple bottles in a short period of time. To ensure our product meets this standard without compromising its raw and authentic quality, we employ the use of non-heat distillation to remove alcohol from our kombucha, leaving us with an end result that has around 0.1% ABV–significantly below the mandated limit. As such, customers can enjoy all benefits associated with these beneficial bacteria while minimizing their exposure to unnecessary amounts of alcohol!

How Much Alcohol Is in Kombucha?

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How Much Alcohol Is in Kombucha?

Unlike homemade kombucha, which contains between 1% and 2.5% alcohol content, commercial varieties must remain under 0.5%, granting them the classification of a non-alcoholic beverage in many nations. Therefore, for those seeking to enjoy a completely sober refreshment can do so with confidence when opting for store-bought kombucha!

What Could Kombucha’s Minor Alcohol Content Do For You?

Kombucha fermentation yields an alcoholic by-product due to the activity of bacteria and yeast living in the kombucha scoby. The sugars from sweetened tea are digested by these microorganisms, which causes them to secrete alcohol as well as carbon dioxide. Then, this liquor is transformed into acetic acid (vinagar) by its bacterial counterparts! Such a fascinating process all starts with just one simple ingredient: sugar!

Kombucha is crafted through multiple steps that make it a delicious, low sugar beverage with an ever-so-slight alcoholic and acidic tinge. However, since determining the exact alcohol content of each batch requires expensive machinery, one can only estimate its strength using a hydrometer due to the numerous particles suspended in this drink.

Factors Influencing the Alcohol Content of Kombucha

Sugar Content

When creating a kombucha, the quantity of sugar utilized in the initial stages will decide how much alcohol content it can yield. The more sugars available for fermentation by yeast, the higher your potential ABV (alcohol-by-volume) value. However, there is a limit to this — you won’t be able to create whiskey from kombucha! Making wine and beer usually results in an increase in ABV when extra sugar is added during production; however with mixed fermentations involving bacteria present such as kombucha, these organisms consume some of the ethanol produced during fermentation resulting in decreased levels of alcohol.

The Yeast Present

The Yeast Present

The alcohol content of kombucha is heavily determined by the variety and quantity of active yeast present in its culture. With thousands of different types, each with unique properties that contribute to the final outcome during fermentation, brewers have very little control over it. Moreover, since this process occurs openly without a lid on top – microorganisms from outside sources are sure to exchange with those contained inside too!

The variety of wild yeast that inhabit different areas is unpredictable and can’t be predicted, so we don’t know which ones will make their home in our kombucha or how they’ll affect its alcohol content!

Fermentation Temperature

When it comes to brewing kombucha, the fermentation temperature plays a critical role in determining both alcohol and acidity levels. The warmer environment encourages yeast activity, prompting them to consume more sugar which leads to higher alcohol production. Conversely, bacteria thrive in cooler temperatures leading to lowered acidity of your brew. Thus by carefully controlling the ambient temperature of where you are fermenting your kombucha, you can ultimately manipulate both its alcoholic content as well as its vinegary tanginess!

When you ferment kombucha at a higher temperature, it produces an unmistakable tanginess. Alternatively, if you desire a more acidic beverage opt for lower temperatures during fermentation – the results will astound your taste buds!

Fermentation Time

In the nascent stage of kombucha fermentation, yeast quickly replicate and produce considerable amounts of alcohol and carbon dioxide for a period lasting about one week. Subsequently, the rate of fermentation abates as the amount of liquor created by these microorganisms diminishes. It is at this juncture that bacteria become energetic in oxidizing ethanol and oxygen into acetic acid. This oxidation brings out a tart flavor to kombucha while concurrently reducing its alcoholic content; thus an aged variant has less booze than when it was young.

The Surface in Contact With Air

In order for acetic bacteria to transform alcohol in kombucha into vinegar, oxygen is required. With greater contact to air, the more likely it will be that its alcoholic content decreases as a result of being converted into acetic acid. Therefore, if you wish for your kombucha to contain less alcohol select a wide-mouthed container over one with a narrow opening – this allows better exchange of air and thus results in lower levels of alcohol. The same logic applies when fermenting – opt for an environment that has good ventilation rather than somewhere enclosed like inside a wardrobe; the higher amount of airflow present means there will be fewer residual traces left by the ethanol produced during fermentation!

How to Make a Low Alcohol Kombucha?

Want to make a low-alcohol kombucha of your own? It’s easier than you think! To reduce the alcohol content, limit added sugar to 50g (¼ cup) per litre and keep the fermentation temperature between 20°C and 28°C. Additionally, extend fermenting time from 10 days up to 15 for even better results. When flavouring your brew, do not add sweet ingredients at this stage either; also be sure not to let it bottle ferment for too long before refrigerating. For an even more extreme solution: try making a completely sugar-free kombucha!

Rather than removing the initial sugar, we suggest allowing it to ferment for an extended period of time. Discover more about making your own sugar-free and alcohol-free kombucha or our special kombucha vinegar recipe by viewing our instructions!

Tips to Make a High Alcohol Kombucha?

Tips to Make a High Alcohol Kombucha?

To create a high alcohol kombucha, you must cultivate an environment where yeast can rapidly multiply and acetic acid bacteria’s activity is restrained. To enhance the alcoholic content of your concoction, try these techniques:

  • Include 100g (½ cup) sugar per litre in the mixture
  • Preserve fermentation temperature between 28-35°C
  • Reduce the brewing duration from 7 to 10 days
  • Add sweet elements when flavoring
  • Keep bottles at room temperature (25-35°C) before refrigerating

To get the most out of your hard kombucha, try our unique recipe! Another easy way to avoid temperature control is through limiting oxygen. In this process, you can ferment for 5 days in a regular container and after that transfer without the mother into a carboy with an airlock for more days. This method will restrict any further presence of oxygen as bacteria won’t be able to transform alcohol into acetic acid due to its narrow neck design.

Related: what does beer taste like


Will the alcohol in kombucha get you drunk?

The short answer is no. Even though alcoholic fermentation takes place during the brewing of kombucha, the resulting beverage typically contains less than 0.5% alcohol by volume, which is much lower than the amount usually present in beer or wine.

Is kombucha considered alcohol?

In the United States, it is not considered to be alcohol according to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. As such, it can be sold without a liquor license or any other restrictions placed on alcoholic beverages.

How much alcohol is in kombucha compared to beer?

How does kombucha stack up to beer? Generally, a bottle of beer will have an alcohol content of 4.5% while the majority of kombuchas provide less than 0.5%. Consequently, you would need to drink nine bottles of mild kombucha for the same amount that one bottle or can of beer contains!

How much alcohol is in a 16 oz kombucha?

Although kombucha tea is marked as non-alcoholic, it may contain small amounts of alcohol not exceeding 0.5%.

Can you feel tipsy off kombucha?

Given the very low levels of alcohol, it is highly unlikely that consuming kombucha would make someone feel tipsy. Even if you drank a large amount in one sitting, the amount of alcohol present would not be enough to have an effect on your mood or behavior. That being said, everyone’s response can vary and some people may be more sensitive than others. It is always best to consume kombucha in moderation and consult with a healthcare professional before consuming if you have any questions or concerns.

Can you get a DUI after drinking kombucha?

It’s critical to remember that store-bought kombucha must contain 0.5% alcohol or lower by law, but handmade versions may include more than this percentage of alcohol without the consumer knowing about it until after consumption. Thus, lacking caution can cause a DUI citation if you’re operating a vehicle under the influence of homemade kombucha tea.

Can kombucha trigger alcohol test?

It is widely accepted that breathalyzer tests are unreliable, yet drinking kombucha can spike your BAC reading to an even more inaccurate level.

Is it OK for kids to drink kombucha?

Although Kombucha is generally safe for kids, it’s advisable to start them off with small servings and dilute the beverage with water. This will help neutralize some of its acidity while maintaining its delicious taste! Especially when serving younger children or toddlers, this precautionary measure can provide more benefits than harm in the long run.

Do you have to be 21 to buy kombucha?

Many forms of kombucha are classified as alcohol if they contain 0.5% or more in terms of alcohol by volume, and therefore require you to be 21 years old or older before making a purchase. Thankfully, the bulk of kombucha on the market falls shy of that percentage and is non-alcoholic – meaning anyone can enjoy it!

How much kombucha does it take to get tipsy?

If you’re wanting to replicate the effects of a single bottle of beer, drinking eight commercial kombucha bottles would be necessary.


So now you know how much alcohol is in kombucha right? Kombucha can contain up to 0.5% ABV, which is low compared to beer and other alcoholic beverages. However, it’s important to note that higher levels of alcohol may be present in homemade kombucha, so it’s best to always consume with caution. Finally, anyone under 21 should not drink any type of kombucha with an ABV of 0.5% or higher. Enjoy and drink responsibly!

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